Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A painter

she complained of chill, ununderstood by science. Laying there with death resting on her shoulder. The sun had been unmerciful, the birds were gone. the shrewd December sky kept mankind at bed. For some the bed becomes their morgue, unattended as they lay finding music in their stray thoughts to distract them of their ache. To Kayfan, loneliness came naturally. Not in a psychopathic way but as a blanketing need to protect herself from the world out there. Living by herself at the 4th floor of newly constructed krishenji apartments in the greater Noida where happiness stalks you, or so the builders claim. she moved into this house 7 months ago courtesy a hard-working job at Dutchesse Bank.

The job mattered little to Kayfan for her passion resided in painting. She moved into to the house with eight bank canvasses that were one by one stroked by layers of dust. Thick, bushy goblets of dust particles invading the whiteness of the canvas. The rest of the apartment too narrated tales of sloth and negligence in great volume. Cleanliness obstructs creativity, her practiced repartee to all those who complained of her bohemian lifestyle, most incisively her mother. The house, as a matter of fact, was disorderly but not unclean or crummy, as if done on purpose. The bookshelf besides Kayfan's bed was perhaps the only place which showed signs of discipline and human habitation. She devoted herself to reading after she was convinced that she can't paint anymore. I am not troubled as Van Gogh or would ever want to be, her most defensive answer to those who noticed the empty canvasses around including her maid and Jimmy the neighbor, who would occasionally drop his cats under her supervision before work-trips.

Lying on the bed, early in the morning, Kayfan flipped unread pages of Murakami. Her hair pour out on the pillow in an elegant, wordless significance. She was besotted by his prose. As if the woman in comatose from his novel was here, right next to her, sharing her grief without an inch of sentimentality. comforting, expressing solidarity in an elegant wordless significance. Mollycoddling her thoughts this way, Kayfan only grew more desperate for sleep and care. The cramps had begun to tire her profusely. her livid body was darkening in parts, especially her palms and neck due to constricted blood supply.
she was sure she was going to die but death wasn't even remotely on her mind today.

Waking up to the sounds that have a visceral dream-like echo has become a routine for kayfan now. She straddles between past and future through the telescopic eye of dreams and finds entrapped in the dungeon of these hazy sounds. It's not a joy-ride. not by any stretch of imagination. she experiences pain and pleasure in amplified proportions. Some days the weight of her emotions, clogs her vision forcing her to wear an eye-patch to work. Today, like day before and the week ago, her body lapsed into a death-like freeze. Dr. Chabra from neurolgy department of Matilda Hospital gave up on her after all the prescribed sedatives failed. He is aware of patients who find it difficult to wake up in the morning but this is truly an unusual case. The last time she approached him, he told her that she must stop visiting him as her condition had caused him nervous breakdown. She isn't sure if she saw him saying this in her dream or in real. Not that her frigid body could afford the luxury of a phone call to him.


  1. A superb short story again
    with a thumping last line.
    I would be happy if one word is added right at the end.

    "Not that her frigid body could afford the luxury of a phone call NOW."

  2. A bit rough around the edges, but an attempt more complete when compared to Professor Hobkin's story. Took off in the second para and continued in the same vein, however a killer-punch still eludes the ending.
    Good to read the language though, very mature.